When I first picked up the first issue of Knuckleheads to read I didn’t know that it was going to be a team book… okay more like an ensemble cast. I mean only one dude has powers and in the land of superhero books that means the one dude is the star of the book. Not here. It truly is an ensemble cast as each of the characters has begun playing a bigger and bigger role in the story and it’s better because of it. Enter Guy Brown, aka Pizza Guy. Yeah the fucking Pizza Guy is still in the book and while he could have just, I don’t know, left and gone back to work… he’s instead hung around. Guy narrates the opening of this issue while Trev tries to figure out what’s different about himself from yesterday to today as he faces two armed robbers. Answer? Shorts. That’s right, Trev drops his pants and the reaction is brilliant. He once again attempts to blast the two robbers wearing domino masks and… nothing. He’s still shooting blanks.
In the end Trev ends up giving his vintage Pokemon wallet containing two dollars over to the crooks, but they want his crystal knuckles. He tells them to try and take them off and they are unsuccessful, but they do get the idea to cut his hand off. This is the perfect time for Pizza Guy to put his plan in action!
This is again a really good issue. I didn’t laugh quite as much as I did with the last issue, but it’s still funny. The scene with the robbers goes on for a bit too long, but the pay off at the end redeems it. Emma delivers one of the best lines of the book so far and proves how solid the writing for this series is.
Brian Winkeler again delivers a series that avoids every other superhero pit fall ever written. It really is refreshing to read this book and not have to worry about it just turning into his version of this “character” or that “character.” Instead he delivers a book with one of the best ensemble casts in all of comics. ALL OF COMICS!
My only gripe with the art this time is that we didn’t get to see the nut shot. I mean… I needed that. It’s like that episode of The Simpson where Jay Sherman is on; a man getting hit in the groin is funny and it’s even funnier when it’s a man not wearing pants and in a pink bathrobe that’s giving the nut shot. Other than that the art was great and really not seeing it didn’t ruin anything.
Robert Wilson delivers in a big way this issue. I personally find his character designs to be cool. When Emma holds up her fists and delivers the line of all lines, you can’t help but smile with her. Frankly that’s some strong visuals when you can do that. Wilson also has the difficult task of making all the physical comedy play out as well. Nut shots aside, he does a great job with this as well. There’s a scene at the end in which Trev does something… well stupid and he quickly looks both ways and runs. There’s no dialogue so the humor relies on the art and Wilson delivers.
I’m going to combo up as I talk about the coloring and lettering on the book; Jordan Boyd is a damn fine colorist. There’s something about the vibrant palette he uses for this series that is the perfect fit. Everything is kind of neon, but it works with Wilson’s art style. There’s a line in the beginning when Trev figures out that he’s wearing shorts and that’s what’s different from the night before. The lettering on this bit of dialogue is wonderful. You can feel and relate to Trev’s “eureka” moment and that’s the mark of a strong letterer. Thomas Mauer deserves equal credit for the success of the dialogue in this issue, so I definitely tip my hat.
Knuckleheads is a “must read” for me. I’ve been on a kick lately in which I only want to read comics that can actually make me laugh and while there’s a good handful out there, their releases are few and sometimes far between. That said, when a new issue of Knuckleheads is out, I’m on top of it. It’s a book that is as much fun to read as I’m sure it is to create; that’s a fantastic gift to pass on to your readers. If you’re looking for a laugh this week, then you just found it.
Writer: Brian Winkeler Artist: Robert Wilson IV Colorist: Jordan Boyd Letterer: Thomas Mauer Publisher: MonkeyBrain Comics Price: $.99 Release Date: 2/5/14